Ortofon MC A90 Cartridge VTF

I just spent the weekend at mikelavigne's where we did a comparison with three turntables all using the same Ortofon MC A90 cartridges. We had the cartridges setup at the recommended VTF and they did not all have the same amount of break-in time on them. I decided to see what would happen when we lightened the cartridges up.

We started on the first table and the weight was about 2.25. We lessened the weight until I thought that the sound really locked in. By the time we were done on the first turntable, the VTF was at around 1.56. When we did the second table we got the weight all the way down to 1.92. On the third table it ended up best at about 2.01.

All parties (myself, Mike and Steve) agreed that lightening up the carts really opened things up quite a bit without loss of bass. The inner detail and delicacy inreased as did speed and dynamics.

I called Ortofon and am awaiting a response but I was wondering if those of you who own this cartridge have gone outside the recommended range and if you could share your experiences.

There is more to read about this if you want under mikelavigne's system thread.
As a dealer, which wasn't disclosed, I find it amusing you have to ask the readership about your own product.

But then again self promotion is a way of life for you.

What else were you trying to sell Mike?

Go ahead, why not be totally shameless?

It's worked in the past.
Audiofeil, What are you trying to say? Jonathan doesn't know his products. You know that is not the case. I think that what he is doing here should be commended in that he's taking the time to try to get some feedback from his customers, and others, on a product that seems to be performing differently than the manufacturer has suggested. He's even made the effort to contact the company (Ortofon) likely to find out their view on this issue. I totally disagree with your take on this, and think it might stem from a bit of jealousy on your part, sorry.
I totally agree with underdog & you sir (audiofeil) need to grow up.

The Ortofon a90 is a fantastic cartridge. The adjustment(VTF) from the original set up is something everyone should experiment with.

I found the same results after initial break-in is to lighten up the VTF. Soundstage, speed, impact are all improved.

I also feel different tonearm & turntables may prove to have different results.

On the Grand Prix Monaco I found the VTF to be best at 1.95.
so far.
I did a bit of VTF experimentation with my A90/Phantom II/TNT.

At the moment I have VTF at 2.14g. At this setting the sound-space is more expansive and individual images are more lively, dimensional and nuanced (compared to ~2.3g).

Lowering much further produced some tracking issues in my set-up. The Reed arm (used by Mikel) must be a superb tracker to have no problems with the A90 at 1.55g!
Thanks for the suggested lower tracking force recommendation. I will have to try them.
Just what IS the factory recommended VTF for the A90? And is it really surprising to anyone that the actual optimal VTF might be different for different tonearms? I guess the surprising element is that in all cases the best sound was achieved at a VTF below the factory recommended one, whatever that is.
Lewm: We have tried it on two of the same arms on different turntables and the result was different for both.

If I remember correctly it was between 2.0 - 2.5. Not that dramatically out of range in some cases but quite far in others.
Hi Lew

Tracking force range - 2.0 to 2.5 gm. Recommended tracking force 2.3gm.

It will be interesting if Mike keeps his 1.5gm long term on his Garrard, as sometimes what can seem like an improvement in the short term is not as sucessful long term.

I had a similar situation with the dyna XV-1 and HP insisting that 2.6gms was best. Yes it sounded quite impressive for the short term, however I went back to 2.05 gm's for longer term enjoyment.

A couple of days ago after Mike's post I lowered my tracking weight and had a listen to the same album. It seemed to sound better at the time, so I left it.

I measured it today and it was at 1.97gms. I will live with it for the rest of the week, play a lot of different albums, then go back to 2.3gm's and see what it sounds like then, or maybe something in between.
To me, it is important to go as slow as you can and as Lew has mentioned before - do a longer term ABA - obviously if it sounds wrong you change it.

The thing about the A90 is that it sounds great on most setting. However every time you change/tweak VTA/SRA/VTF/antiskating/azimuth etc, every change is clearly audible.


I have no tracking issues with the Phantom at 1.97gms. It would probably be benefitial to go over check all of the alignment parameters in case something is amiss.

This reminds me of advice that was given me after I got my old Grado TLZ cartridge out of mothballs in connection with the MM/MI craze. Someone wrote that someone else on VE wrote that the one and only "correct" VTF for the TLZ was 1.62 gm. This made me laugh, to think that I could ever set it that accurately using a Shure VTF seesaw, notwithstanding the fact that I also believe different tonearms will give different optima. These digital gauges are getting us in trouble. (I finally caved and bought one too.)
For the first month with my A90 I was tracking at 2.27 on my Reed Tonearm, now I have settled at 2.18.

Just for the heck of it yesterday I listened to a track at 1.55 it was actually better than I thought it would be, however, I found it not the right match for my system.

Also, at a listening session at my friends on a VPI table and arm we settled at 2.18 with the A90 in his system as well after trying several different setting.

It would be interesting to know if you switched the carts to the alternate tables in Mike's system to see if you consistently chose the same settings. Without knowing this is it hard to look to the cart just yet. I actually suspect it is "voice" of each table really causing these vast differences in desired VTF. However as we all know the sound is all that really matters.

Dlanselm, it used to be that you tracked as lightly as you could without mistracking. Are you suggesting that you seek some sonic perfection? I guess I read the earlier posts to suggest what was the lowest VTF without mistracking. Perhaps I am wrong?
Whenever you change the vtf, you are altering the vta, which DOES make a significant sonic change!! That most likely is what we are are all hearing!
"It will be interesting if Mike keeps his 1.5gm long term on his Garrard, as sometimes what can seem like an improvement in the short term is not as sucessful long term."

Downunder: I think he probably will. There were three of us there and it was fairly evident that this was the best setting. Maybe if the cartridge continues to change he might tweek it a bit more, but I think it was spot on.

I never agreed with HP's assessment in my system. I had the XV-1S much lighter than 2.6. I even think that might be enough VTF to eventually damage the suspension on that cart.

David: No we did not switch the cartridges between the tables. Three tables and three cartridges is quite a bit of work as it is. :)

Tbg: That really was not what we were looking for, it was simply the best sound we could get.
Jtinn, but going lower was stopped by mistracking, right? With a sharp radius stylus, I suspect that Lyniv is right, you are changing the VTA when you change the tracking weight. Perhaps very slightly lowering the VTA would yield the same results. Going to a thicker record would do the same thing.
Dear Jtinn: I have four times the A90 in my systems for only a few hours each time so I can speak on the long run.

First time ( the cartridge was not settle down yet ) I run at 2.4grs with a good performance not the best the cartridge can but good enough, last time I run at 2.1grs with excellent results. The cartridge is so good that I agree with Downunder: it sounds great in most settings.

In a case similar to this I ask directly to Dynavector if I can go up to 2.6grs in the XV-1 and they told me ( I posted somewhere in that time. ) NO. The manufacturer VTF range has some targets: that the coils stay centered, that there not exist any kind of mistraking ( even if we can't detect it ), that the cartridge suspension works on target and that the cartridge performs according the manufacturer targets/voicing.

IMHO in the short run we can make any kind of cartridge set up with VTF, maybe it can't damage the cartridge or the LP's ( ??? ), but in the long run my advise is: stay inside manufacturer VTF range.

I write the " danger " of mistracking with lower VTF and I say " even if you can't detect it ", this IMHO is important because we can have a tiny/minute cartridge mistracking that we can't detect and that we are hearing like more transparency/openess on the highs.
Of course that Ortofon is the best " source " to give a precise answer but if I was any of you I stay inside the manufacturer VTF range.

Lyniv point out something that is important especially with top resolution systems like yours: every time you change the VTF you change the VTA/SRA and overhang, could you detect it? I can't say it in those systems but are another factors to take in count as is IMHO to be sure that Azymuth is on target.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Jtinn: In the other side there is no reason to "
wait "/hope that the cartridge performs the same in
three different TT/tonearms ( I'm assuming were different
but two tonearms. Btw, same IC tonearms/phono stage cables?
), the
cartridge/tonearm/TT relationship is " personal "
especially cartridge/tonearm and along that
cartridge/tonearm then the load impedance and even than the
SRA belongs to each recording the same cartridge in
different tonearm sometimes needs different VTA/SRA to tame
the sound.

I comment this because only one cartridge was on the
manufacturer VTF recomendation, is obvious by your posts
that you don't try this cartridge in the tonearm where the
cartridge performs like you like at 1.56grs. and niether the
other way around too.

Normaly a cartridge of this caliber and coming from Ortofon
IMHO have to perform in excellent/top manner inside the
manufacturer specs/advise if the cartridge makes good match
with the tonearm and if the cartridge is full and in good
operation conditions.

Anyway, Ortofon has the best/precise answer on that 1.56grs

Regards and enjoy the music,
I've commented regularly for 3+ years about exactly the same VTF behavior with two ZYX UNIverses. I'd be astonished if an A90 or any other cartridge acted differently. Individual details and numbers vary, but not the basic behavior.

All cartridges have elastomeric suspensions. All elastomers alter with usage, age and climatic conditions (some more than others). Therefore, the amount of downforce needed for optimal performance changes.

To clarify a point made by Tbg, excessive VTF sounds nothing like inaccurate SRA. The two effects are utterly different, at least in our system and to our ears. Yes, changing VTF does alter VTA and SRA, particularly with modern styli, but that doesn't undo the fact that the VTF sweet spot of a cartridge changes. It just means you have to monitor both parameters to maintain optimum performance.
both A90's, one on the Rockport with VTF at 2.06 grams with 65 hours on it, and the other one on the Garrard/Reed 2P with VTF at 1.56 grams with 120 hours on it, are still sounding stellar 10 days later.

Steve Dobbins took the 3rd A90 (which had been on the Kodo 'The Beat'/Reed 2P at 1.91 grams with 40+ hours on it) back home with him when he left.

this past week i had 2 visitors that really enjoyed both tt/arm/cart combos. one in particular who is well known for his knowledge of idler tt performance, commented on how the Garrard's performance had surpassed what he thought possible from that type of design.

in a few weeks i'll try different (heavier) VTF's to see if those current settings are still ideal.
Mike, I still wonder what your quest is. Is it the lightest tracking force or the sound? I assume that you are redoing the VTA with each lower tracking weight. Is that the case? Also, are you readjusting the overhang in each case? Do you have a mistracking record? I am asking this as I will soon be able to use my Ortofon and have only very old experience in setting up anything other than the Shindo Labs cartridge on their tt. With it you have no overhang adjustment and the tracking weight is a very firm stated 2.85 grams. Even VTA is strongly recommended. Everything is intended solely for the Shindo set up.

I have found that the VTA is very critical on the Shindo and would be surprised were it not on the Ortofon.

my quest is only what sounds most real....in all seriousness. i don't have any pre-concieved notion on VTF. it either sounds best or it does not. i do think that only over time and open-minded listening and experimentation can the most ideal VTF/VTA be found.....and even then as the cartridge suspension softens over time these points can change.

i would say that with a new cartridge like the A90, initial break-in should be done in the recommended range, in this case 2.0--2.5 grams. with this particular A90 after about 25 hours on it i did do some experimantation and found 2.20 grams to be the best. but now there is 120 hours on that same cartridge.

we (Steve Dobbins, Jonathan Tinn and myself) had listened for awhile with the Garrard/Reed/A90 (with 120 hours on it) at 2.20 grams VTF. Jonathan felt that overall it was a bit sluggish and lacking 'sparkle' on top and suggested that we try to get it better. Steve was doing the adjustments and all three of us were listening. first Steve lowered VTF, it was better. then lowered it again, better. this cycle was repeated three or so more times. finally it got a bit thin on top, so we went back to the previous spot. better. then went lighter, worse. so back to that spot. now we worked on VTA. we went higher in back...worse. back to the same spot. better. then lower. worse. so back to the same spot. better. then we listened to some different cuts. it sounded great; amazing detail, body, open on top, powerful, articulate bass. then we measured. 1.56 grams. we were all taken aback.

regarding the Shindo and VTA. IMHO tt's don't have VTA, arms and cartridges have VTA. not that Shindo might not recognize that VTA can be very critical, but a particular cart and arm won't have different VTA on different tt's. other forces would account for different VTA's....degree of cartridge breakin, actual VTF, quality of set-up, degree of anti-skate. ambient conditions...etc. etc.

as far as overhang, VTF and VTA; they are somewhat interactive; howvever i am skeptical that overhang would change enough after 40+ hours on a cartridge (of suspension softening) to bother with messing with. it would be nanometers. and VTF will change VTA and SRA more than actually raising and lowering the arm a milimeter. the Reed 2P arm has a lever which allows for a 10mm range of 'on-the-fly' dynamic VTA adjustment which is great to hear tiny VTA adjustments....which we used.
Mike, yes by having everything fixed the Shindo minimizes what needs to be adjusted, including overhang and tracking weight. I just remember the old Shure tracking test records where you sought the lowest tracking weight before mistracking.

While I concede that we are talking about fractions of a degree and of an inch, I still expect that changing tracking weight varies both. I guess I will see once I get the Ortofon mounted and running.

It would be interesting to see how much of the differences are tt/arm dependent vs cartridge suspension differences. Will you try swapping the cartridges to uncover what is leading to the very subsatntial differences in vtf?

Hi Andrew,

Great question about VTF changes from one arm to another using the same cart. Mike had wondered the same thing during our trials. The A90 I had at Mike's with about 40 hours of use, was most happy on the Reed at 1.92 g. The same cart was installed on a Tri-Planar when I got home and the sonic sweet spot for that combination was 2.25 g.

Vetterone, when you say "sweet spot" you seem to suggest that you could go lower but that the sound was not as good. Would the A90 in the Tri-Planar track at a lower tracking weight, but not sound as good?

I guess I am old guard. I set everything up accurately including the manufacturer's recommended tracking weight. Then I reduced the tracking weight downward until I got mistracking. Often I used the Shure record, but at least once I used an oscilloscope to look at the wave forms. Then I focused on the VTA.


i don't presume to be at Steve's level in cartridge set-up proceedure.

i had my 120 hour A90 on that same Triplaner arm that Steve used on his 40 hour A90. we had had it set at 2.21 grams in my system on the Garrard. we had tried VTF's down to 2.0 grams and as high as 2.40 grams. for that cartridge on that arm in my system 2.21 was ideal. a few hours after removing it from that Triplaner and installing it on the Reed 2P we measured an ideal VTF as 1.56 grams for that exact same cartridge.

manufacturers set-up recommendations are 'suggestions'. you must listen. obviously if there is mis-tracking with too light a VTF that's a problem and that must be avoided. but it's right if it sounds best. i can see that too heavy a VTF at extremes needs to be avoided....as you can collapse the cartridge suspension.

i tracked my vdH Colibris from 1.30 grams to 1.45 grams and never had any mis-tracking. evidently the Reed 2P/A90 combo has some sort of synergy going where it's happy at 1.56 grams....at least that particular Reed 2P with that particular A90.
Mikelavigne, it sounds like for this cartridge, the Reed has the optimum resonance frequency. I will soon be getting a Bergman tt and will be able to see where I need to see how low a tracking force I can use as well as what VTA is optimal.

In some respects the "everything fixed" approach of Shindo was a good deal easier, but allowed little experimentation. One had to accept Ken Shindo's judgment.
Dear Mikelavigne: All those differences in VTF seems to me that explain the intimate relationship between cartridge/tonearm/TT that are different in each set up, what is a " surprise " to me is that down/below the VTF manufacturer range the cartridge still performs on " target " with centered coils. Probably at that VTF set up are still centered.

Btw, what happen with the Jtinn question on the subject to Ortofon? has he already an answer?

Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul, yes jtinn did get a reply (which he read to me) from Ortofon, which he told me he will be posting 'soon'.
Thanks Steve. Your comment was very informative and helpful. I have an A90 and will give it a try soon. I'll keep this in mind. My guess from what you mentioned is that I'll probably be on the higher end of the vtf spectrum.

Another good question Norm. 2.25 g was the optimal sound to my ears with the Tri-Planar. I went as low as 2.10 but the sound lost a lot of the fullness or weight it had at 2.25. It will be interesting to see how low I can go on VTF before the A90 mistracks on the Tri-Planar. I will do that this weekend and post the results.
Dear Jtinn: You start the thread where you share with us that you are waiting the Ortofon answer.

By M. Lavigne last post we assume you already have the answer and I have to say that we all are waiting your post about.

Could you?, thank you in advance.

regards and enjoy the music,
Sure, I have been a bit busy and meant to post a little sooner.

The thought by the Chief Engineer at Ortofon was that it could probably be explained by stylus rake angle.

He did note that the VTF will vary slightly between arms, even when it’s the same cartridge, but he also remarked that the difference should not be one of extreme magnitude.

He agreed with the notion that SRA has a profound effect on the performance of the cartridge, as the Replicant diamond’s size and shape requires careful stylus rake adjustment to get the sharp edges perfectly within the groove. If the VTA is only set approximately (say within 5mm), then the VTF is going to seriously change the stylus rake angle.

He also said that you should shoot for 2.0g as a minimum, as anything less could compromise the tracking ability.

Ultimately Louis of Ortofon USA agreed “follow your ears”.

Personally I followed my ears and found the settings we used to be the best. Of course we took into account VTA and Steve Dobbins worked very diligently setting up each source.

Even at the 1.56 setting on the Garrard, the cartridge tracked great!
Dear Jtinn: Certainly the Ortofon people at Ortofon ( Denmark. ) has the same advise and they does not talk about " follow your ears ". Next is the answer direct from other Ortofon Chief:


Hi Raul

There are some things that might go wrong when you are using such a low VTF.
I certainly won’t recommend that!

Most critical is that you will probably damage your records do to mistracking.
Remember that the Replicant 100 has a very narrow (“sharp”) edge!

Secondly (and third) you might have wrong VTA and SRA.
So the coils will be in non-ideal position and misaligned rake angle will cause distortion and record wear.

Ortofon cartridge are designed to have correct VTA and SRA when used with correct (i.e. recommended) VTF in a tonearm parallel to the record surface.
The range of VTF that is indicated in the data-sheet gives you the limits for adjustment.

Hope these comments helps you

Best regards

Leif Johannsen
Chief of acoustics and technology
Ortofon A/S


I posted about " minute/tiny " mistracking even if we can't detect and about coild position, both subjects IMHO are critical for the cartridge performance.

Of course that we audiophiles normaly follows our ears and like Mike each one of us made/make what give us better musical pleasure.

Thank you Mike to share your A-90 experiences.

Regards and enjoy the music,
after reading the responses to jtinn and Raul from Ortofon, and then listening over many hours to my A90 tracking very happily at 1.56 grams, one is tempted to conclude that maybe the Reed 2P arm has advantages over the Ortofon arms used to form the factory perspectives.

please note that i am only 'tempted' to conclude and have not actually concluded that.

i do not presume to understand cartridge construction to the degree to question the manufacturer's perspective, i'm only listening and observing. i can say there is no audible evidence that any miss-tracking is occuring. another way to put it would be that any cartridge would be 'proud' to sound like this while miss-tracking.
Dear Mike: As you know several times in audio is really difficult to meet/match exactly the " technical " factors with what we heard/hear.

Obviously that your cartridge/tonearm combination function in that precise way and to function/perform in that way it needs that lower VTF.
I want to think ( by my experiences. ) that other cartridge/tonearm combination can perform in a similar way but with different VTF.

The behavior in a tonearm/cartridge and its performance is something that we know works and have to works in matced couple but we really don't know yet all the why's and how's on that critical relationship.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Mike: +++++ " one is tempted to conclude that
maybe the Reed 2P arm has advantages over the Ortofon arms
used to form the factory perspectives ... " +++++

yes, you/we can speculate about. Seems to me that Ortofon
like any other cartridge designers/builders have to make the
cartridge voicing using different tonearms because that
cartridge will work out there with different tonearms and
has to perform in good " shape " with almost all.
Well this is what I assume about but I can say it for sure.

Now, I have a little different perspective than you in that

if I assume that either the cartridge and the tonearm are
right on manufacturer specs, that is that there is no single
build/operation quality problem then that tonearm does not
match the cartridge needs.
Why is that?, IMHO if for an audio item perform at its
" best " I need to make an out of manufacturer
specs set up then something is happen that could not be

In this specific case at least, according with the
manufacturer, the cartridge coils are not " centered
" ( non-ideal position. ) at that lower than specs VTF
and this is critical ( it generate different kind of
distortions. ) and one of the main targets of the designers
when they give/made its set up specs.

Mike, that you like/enjoy the better in that set up is not
the subject and I'm not questioning that in anyway, I'm
refering what IMHO is the non-ideal tonearm for that A-90 in
that TT in that audio system.

It is not easy to find out what is happening and where is
happening but something is happening in favor of your ears,

Regards and enjoy the music,
Based on this thread, I lowered the VTF with my Ortofon A90 from 2.25 to 2.06 and find that its slightly more dynamic. It sounds wonderful at either VTF. I tried below 2 and found it underwhelming then again I am only using a more humble Rega RB700 arm and lenco idler wheel turntable with my stellar dartzeel preamp and amplifier. I think you gotta trust your ears ultimately and that can change over time so am curious what people will be using for VTF 6 months from now!
Raul: Obviously there are too many arms as well as arm lengths for each cartridge manufacturer to try. Also, I do not necessarily agree that a manufacturer needs to try different arms with each new cartridge they design. Those who have a great deal of experience designing cartridges already know what is needed.

I believe that some manufacturers tend to lean toward the conservative. That being said, Ortofon has been doing this longer than most and certainly are incredibly knowledgeable and thorough. But, I know what both my ears and both my eyes experienced... the cartridge was tracking like a champ with the combination we were using. This was not subjective. Also, remember the results were much closer to the lowest recommendation by Ortofon on the other two tables, one of which also had Reed arm.

The reason for this post was not to necessarily debate the point, but to have other Ortofon MC A90 owners share their experiences on the subject as I am sharing mine. I am not here to preach that everyone has to lower their VTF, I am only sharing that the possibility of doing so might yield similar results for those who try... or might not.
I am,like Miek,not an 'technical guy' but I like to think that I am an careful reader. So I have read J.Carrs post
regarding his new Lyra cart and what he was at with this
cart. Ie the centering of the coils within 'exact limits'.
I also observed this remarcable spec. of Allaerts MC2 Formula 1. Ie: stylus pressure 1,8 gr (MAX TOLERANCE 0,05 gr.). Remarcable because this pressuposes some extrordinary
'absorber' with nearly 'invarible qualitys'. Then I have read Rauls info regarding the answer from Ortofon. Those
'storys' are all consistent with each other. But we have
also Mikes story with 1,56 gr. in the Reed 2P with obvious
'deviation' from what one should expect. So to my mind all
4 storys can't be all true. Ie 'something' must be wrong
but I am not the person to resolve the issue.
Nandric, I think your point is well taken. On my Shindo Labs cartridge there is no tolerance from the 2.85 gr. recommendation, but this is an entire system for vinyl.

I have certainly played with tracking weight in the past, in particular with Decca cartridges, but usually VTA is the main focus of setting up the cartridge once the overhang is properly set.

I should say that the people involved in this experiment are quite reputable and that Jtinn's room at THE Show with this cartridge sounded excellent.

Being a doubting thomas, I will soon be able to replicate their efforts to my own satisfaction.
Anyone out there using the A90 with a Graham Phantom II ??

What VTF are you finally locked in at ?

What VTA/SRA are you set at ? Parallel, or lower/higher at the back ?

Just received my A90 #225 in Canada today.

Smoffatt......I'm running the A90 on the Phantom II and have around 80 hours so far, I'm liking 2.15-2.18 vtf with just a slight tail high so far. Once I hit the 200 hour mark I will revisit different settings.....#206

Dealer disclaimer
I am running a Phantom 1 and i am back to around 2.3 gms and just above parallel.

the amount of damping in the Phantom has the biggest effect on the sound.

interesting and curious too, reading such different experiences with A90.
although only running some estimated 15 hours on my A90 have it set at 2,15 VTF and 100 ohms. will further finetune after a longer period with Dr. Feickert Adjust+ software eventually.
through the years i became used to lowering the back of the arm with many incarnations of the Colibri to compensate for a typical MC upper frequency lift.
although 'typical' with some reservations here, not all MC have this tendency but alas.

so i caught myself doing the same with A90.
but came back from that tendency real soon. the A90 likes it level.
we see many teaming up their A90 with tangential arm with great succes. well i can report too that A90 is an amazing match with the Airline.
the whole TT set-up totally dissapeared now, i did not yet experience this level of playback with the same TT owned for 15 years.
patience is good.

LOVE the A90.

If you read what Fremer said and the need for the A90 to be at 92% for correct SRA, the arm needs to be slightly up and the back.
Downunder, yeah, I read it and tried it. As judged by a bubble balance, I am very slightly down in back. I guess he was probably tracking at 2.3 grams. I am at 2.02. So I should be even more up in back.
Jtinn, Mike and Steve, thank you for posting your observations on using below recommended VTF for your A90s. Have you kept those lower settings since the time you posted this information in March without the ill effects predicted by Ortofon showing up in your cartridges?
no negative affects with either of my A90's with VTF's still around 1.80 grams. one is on a Reed 2P and the other on a Talea. they sound great.
I want to chime in here!


Did you began by making sure SRA was set to 92 degrees preferably using a USB based microscope? Correct SRA is critical to this extreme stylus profile. I thought I was 'locked in' doing it by naked eye and listening until i got the USB microphone and I was way off...after getting it set using microscope the sound was hugely improved.

In fact Ortofon's specified VTA (were you to use the cantilever angle to set VTA) does not yield the correct result.

And of course you must use the rear edge of the Replicant stylus not the shank as the reference for the 92 degree angle.

In my experience tracking significantly lighter or heavier than recommended by the people who design these products may result in different sound but never better, particularly if you don't compensate for the SRA change made by changing VTF!

In this case, less than a gram will probably result in less than a degree change in SRA ASSUMING YOU WERE AT OR VERY CLOSE TO 92 degrees to begin with but still, you may be hearing that and not VTF change....

My motto: when in doubt play by the rules and stay within the manufacturer's recommended settings.....

BTW: I was involved in an A90 set up this weekend. Replacing a Dynavector XV-1t. The Ortofon is far superior IMO.....right out of the box
Grooves, two friends from Houston came up and convinced me that I should try 2.02 grams. I could not hit that exactly but 2.01 did sound better, but when I raised the VTA, it was clearly better. When I then raised it a hair more, it was not as good. I have played it there since with great satisfaction. I am using a Bergman Sindre turntable and arm. I suspect that you are right about the 92ºs, but I think you can find it by ear.